Concentrated Patrol Effort in Watkinsville Yields Arrests, Citations

Watkinsville Police hosted the Piedmont Area Traffic Enforcement Network Friday night.

Sixty officers representing fifteen northeast Georgia law enforcement agencies including the State Patrol worked together to conduct a concentrated patrol effort in Watkinsville Friday night. It was coordinated through the Piedmont Area Traffic Enforcement Network, which is organized by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Watkinsville Police Chief Lee O'Dillon said the road check, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., focused on the three approaches to the intersection of Ga. Highway 53 and Ga. Highway 15 near .  Additionally, for about an hour following the coordinated check, there were roving patrols and traffic stops throughout the city, he said.

Among the arrested was Larry Willoughby, 55, of Cedar Hill Circle, charged with possession of methamphetamine, DUI, open container, obstruction of a police officer and tampering with evidence, according to O'Dillon's news release.

Officers also made an arrest for DUI and another for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Two were charged with no license and one for revoked license, and officers issued citations for four expired tags and eight seat belt violations, O'Dillion added. 

"This is the first time we had hosted [a concentrated patrol], but it won’t be the last," he said.

These kinds of patrols and enforcement serve as deterrents for illegal behavior, he said.

“If [motorists] know they don’t have insurance or know they’re going to be drinking and driving, they'll know it’s going to get expensive," O'Dillon said.  "It’s to keep them on their toes and make them think twice about going on the roads.”


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Carl Carter July 18, 2012 at 03:41 AM
. i didnt sign up to live in a police state. i am a law abiding citizen and i dont believe for one minute, that this isnt a money making thing. oh yeah, they will have you believe that its all in the name of PUBLIC SAFETY. tell that lie to somebody else.
Dave Ballard July 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Carl is apparently around 18 years of age and brand new to driving, because anyone older than that would know that this "police state" (a.k.a., traffic checkpoints and concentrated roving patrols) has been around for almost half a century, and is common to the entire U.S. No new laws were written to authorise it, and no laws were broken (or even bent) in the execution thereof. In short, there's nothing new here, other than perhaps Carl's recent personal awareness. If I may, a word of (admittedly unasked for) advice for you, Carl: If one happens to think that our system of traffic laws is overly complex, ridiculously unfair in it's enforcement and system of penalties, and primarily enacted to gain money for the local coffers, that one may get in line right behind me, because I'm already there. But the use of combative hyperbole tends to make others roll their eyes and move on, rather than stopping to listen and consider what might have been an otherwise valid point. Presentation of a viable alternative might also be considered helpful to the editorial cause, certainly more so than blindly naming people 'tyrants' and 'liars'.
Racer X July 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Dave- I thought Carl's statement was actually quite reasonable. Also, I do not see the word "tyrant" anywhere in his post. O'Dillion said in the above article "This is the first time we had hosted [a concentrated patrol], but it won’t be the last," So, while this sort of thing has been done elsewhere, it is new to Watkinsville. I think his real point is that the police should have a decent reason to pull you over and not be able to inconvenience citizens without cause. I think we are all on the same page here. No point in demeaning what the guy has to say.
Dave Ballard July 23, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Mike- I thought his statement was shrill and over the top. "Police states" are typically run by tyrants. Saying that it's new to the O'Dillon administration would be more accurate than saying it's new to the city, and it has been done all over Northeast Georgia, the region to which the city belongs. I AGREE that police should have a reason to pull people over, and as I made clear before, I agree with Carl that our system of traffic laws and enforcement is quite broken. My whole point was that Carl's tone was so over the top that even folks who might otherwise agree with him end up being put off.
Racer X August 09, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Dave- When I read Carl's post I don't see "shrill" and "over the top". I took the "police state" comment as figurative speech. Nor did I read into his post that he thought this was "new". Anyway, I understand what you are saying, no problem. It occurs to me that posts are just like emails. Without voice inflection and being utterly articulate (which most folks are not, including me), the same words that one person reads with offense could be read by others with no signs of malice. To me, that is the big danger of expressing our views via email or posts. For that reason, in my business and personal life, I always try to communicate via phone or in person and then send an email to confirm my position with the other party. The most simple of emails can hold an amazing amount of negative vibes and possible misinterpretations without any intention of doing so. My favorite way to communicate is in person over a beer, good beer, not that crap Obama drinks ;-)


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